- The Bishops of the Anglican Province of Congo Kinshasa (DRC) have issued a statement, strongly condemning homosexuality and warning Congolese Church members from supporting gay and pro-gay networks.
Kinshasa Archbishop Dirokpa Balufuga Fidele, presiding over the Anglican Province of Congo, has signed a strong statement, issued by the Bishops of his Province, that goes further than his African colleagues in condemning homosexuality.
The hard-worded statement comes as a late reaction to the split in the Anglican Communion over homosexuality. The split was provoked by the naming of an openly gay bishop and blessings of same-sex unions in the US Episcopal Church. Several African Church provinces have already broken communion with the US Church; now also the Congolese Province.
The open letter of the Kinshasa bishops however goes further than the statements of those provinces leading the anti-gay movement; Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda. These provinces limited their reaction to condemning the events in the US.
The Anglican Province of Congo however states that it condemns homosexuality altogether, in breech with the Anglican Communion's agreement on engaging in "an open debate" on the delicate issue.
- We knowingly declare that the Anglican Province of Congo strongly condemns homosexuality, the statement says, "and wishes to disassociate itself from relations with Dioceses and Parishes involved in homosexuality."
The bishops further rule out any debate over homosexuality in Congo Kinshasa: "The Anglican Province of Congo condemns every immoral act which promotes active homosexuality as a cultural norm," the statement says. The Province said it was part of a global "network of theologically orthodox churches and Dioceses in opposition to homosexuality."
The Congolese Anglicans also called upon all Christians to "seriously pray" for the return to God in true repentance in the western world, were "active homosexuality" was "ravaging".
Homosexuality is totally taboo in the Congolese society and it has never been an issue of public debate in the country. By theoretic means, homosexuality is legal in Congo Kinshasa, but this is mostly due to the official belief that it doesn't exist in the country.
In Congo's eastern neighbour countries, on the other hand, homosexuality has been an issue of growing public debate for about one decade. In Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Kenya, gay and lesbian couples can meet harsh reactions by authorities, up to life imprisonment. Following a decade of repression, there are however a growing number of voices calling for a legalisation of homosexuality in these countries.
Also here, the religious societies are among the strongest defenders of maintaining a ban on homosexuality. In Uganda last year, the Anglican Church excluded one of its bishops because he had been willing to listen to the problems of members of a gay organisation. Also the Catholic Church and Muslim societies want the ban on homosexuality to be maintained.
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